Lao Economy

Government To Limit Number Of Civil Servants

Source: Vientiane Times

The government will employ only as many new staff as are needed to fill the vacancies created by retiring officials, while also attempting to ensure that civil servants are more productive.

Consensus on the recruitment policy for 2018 was reached at the government’s monthly meeting held on August 24-25, chaired by Prime Minister ThonglounSisoulith.

“The meeting agreed that in 2018 the number of new hires will correspond to the number of officials who retire,” a statement released by the meeting said.

According to a government report, Laos currently has more than 183,000 civil servants. This equates to 2.8 percent of the total population, which means Laos is ranked third among all Asean countries in terms of the number of government employees.

More than 26,000 civil servants are employed at the central level of government, 36,000 at the provincial level, and 120,000 at district level.

The number of new recruits taken on next year will be determined in a Prime Minister’s Decision. The meeting called on all sectors at the central and local levels to review the positions currently held by officials, identifying those that are necessary and those that are not. This is aimed at producing officials who are fully employed and can multi-task.

The government stressed that departments at should all levels should not expand further, as a way of making the civil service more effective and less wasteful. Meeting participants also discussed the drafts of three decrees.

These were a decree on national holidays, a decree on the criteria for graduation from poverty and progress in development, and a decree on allowances for poor and disadvantaged primary school children. All of the decrees were approved in principle.

A five-year plan on the development of energy and mines from 2016 to 2020 was also discussed. In relation to mining, the government stressed that project monitoring should begin in the early stages, beginning with surveys, studies and information collection, which should all be done accurately, followed by attention to conservation issues and appropriate methods of ore extraction. The government also called for stronger investment management, stricter enforcement of the law, and more appropriate technical design.

With regards to energy, the government encouraged the use of local potential, especially forms of alternative energy. Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith called on members of the government to closely monitor the situation in the region and around the world, maintain public security and tackle undesirable conduct in the run up to Visit Laos Year 2018.

The government is now preparing for a meeting with provincial governors, which will take place early next month.